Digital cable discontent

So it’s been a little less than a week since we’ve had our fancy new digital cable box, and you know what?

Even with 600+ channels, there’s STILL nothing on TV.

Worse, I now spend my precious hour or so of TV time each night scaling through the digital TV Guide gadget looking for stuff to watch instead of actually, you know, watching stuff. There may yet be a learning curve so I don’t have to scroll painfully through all 600 channels looking for a particular channel or, worse, hoping to serendipitously find something worth watching, but right now the TV is actually adding to the agitation rather than distracting me from it.

I’m paying for this experience? (Ha, well, not for the next 5 3/4 months I’m not!)

In the last week, I’ve watched about two hours of the Food network, and the boys have come to love 1970s-era superhero cartoons on early morning Toon Retro. And that’s about it. Everything else is just 50 timeshifted or HD or who knows what versions of the same crap that wasn’t worth watching last week, either.

There are a couple of things I would have liked to watch on the retro sitcom networks, but we don’t get those channels. Beloved was excited to get the National Geographic channel, but we don’t get that channel. And I would have invested an hour or so on Saturday afternoon in MuchMusicRetro (it’s my fave at the gym) but — wait for it — we don’t get that channel, either. Just about everything I found in the electronic guide that made me say, “Oh! That looks good!” ended up with a screen telling me that I don’t have access to that channel. For an additional fee, though, they’d be happy to hook me up. Bah.

And just by the way? Why can’t all the on-demand stuff be on the same channel? I spent at least 20 minutes yesterday trying to figure out why the Treehouse-on-demand show I had saved for the boys was nowhere to be found on the Rogers-on-demand channel until I realized they were two separate entities.

All in all, I’d have to say that my first week of digital cable has left me unimpressed. We haven’t even tried out the PVR yet because there was simply nothing worth recording.

Oh well, I suppose I can always use my former TV time to catch up on my blog reading…

Author: DaniGirl

Canadian. storyteller, photographer, mom to 3. Professional dilettante.

9 thoughts on “Digital cable discontent”

  1. Yeah, but the food network alone is worth it. Wait til you get hooked to Wipeout!

  2. I hear you. But the RetroToons and Discovery Channel are so popular in our house that I think I’d have a revolt on my hands if I cancelled the satellite system we use.

  3. The other night I sat down to veg on the couch and didn’t find anything to watch either. I ended up playing Scramble on my iPhone while Mark played his X-box. Speaking of which, we discovered a neat interactive game show called 1 vs.100. (This is the future of television game shows!)

    TV is changing. Remember when almost everyone was watching the Thursday-night lineup. What was it: Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends (?) Those days are gone.
    Broadcasting has turned into narrowcasting and audiences are giving up TV in droves. If I haven’t caught something with the PVR (which I looooove) TV is practically a waste of time.

  4. Have you used the thematic approach to the guide? (Hit the B button when the guide is up) I just got the Rogers digital cable box too and I thought that thematic searching would be better than channel flipping. It is … but like the regular guide it doesn’t distinguish between channels you’ve paid for and those you haven’t paid for and ergo I keep trying to watch programming on channels I haven’t paid for. Using the thematic guide, though, I did record Grease and Singing in the Rain and Kiss Me Kate onto the PVR so that I can watch them when I’m on the treadmill.

  5. Yeesh yours sounds complicated, lol.

    Eh I always seem to find some cheesy TV movie (think Lifetime) to get addicted to. But yeah, beyond that, I don’t think I watch all that much TV as a result.

  6. I get 3 channels with my rabbit ears, and that’s enough for me. Everything that I wanna watch is either on CTV or CBC anyway. The girls like TVO kids, and the joy of no commercials in the children’s programming there and on CBC means no whining for overpriced toys/breakfast cereals/fast-food places/age-inappropriate clothing. Win-win-win. We have lots of movies on dvd and vhs, and play a lot of board games and read a lot too.

  7. Problem is, summer TV sucks no matter how you slice it.

    And don’t get me started about the Demand problems with Rogers – mine gives me errors all the time!

    I suspect that by 5 months, you’ll be liking it…;)

  8. This is really interesting. My only experience with this 600-channel thing was a year ago at a fancyschmanzy cottage. I found myself doing the same thing…oooohhhh, how exciting, so many channels, no internet access up there, let’s watch some neat tv……and then? Letdown.

    At home with have basic cable. I watch 2, maybe 3 channels occasionally (the Weather Network, of all things…). Most of what’s on is crap crap crap. I have an oldfashioned VCR that records something I THINK I may want to watch and then then the days pass and evening comes and I’d rather read a book…

    Neat post!

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